Evolve – Imagine Dragons
A Grammy Award-winning alt-rock outfit with a knack for crafting stylish, stadium-ready anthems as emotionally charged as they are radio-friendly, Las Vegas-based Imagine Dragons had their genesis in Provo, Utah, where vocalist Dan Reynolds met drummer Andrew Tolman while the two attended Brigham Young University. In 2009, the group, which by this time included guitarist Daniel Wayne Sermon, bass player Ben McKee, and Tolman’s wife Brittany Tolman on keys and backing vocals, had made a name for itself regionally and relocated to Reynolds’ hometown of Las Vegas to record a pair of well-received EPs (Imagine Dragons and Hell and Silence) at the Killers’ Battle Born Studios. A third EP, It’s Time, arrived the following year and helped land the group a record deal with Interscope. The Tolmans parted ways with the group prior to the Interscope deal, and Daniel Platzman took over on drums.
In 2012, Imagine Dragons hit it big with the Continued Silence EP and their debut long-player, Night Visions, the latter of which debuted at the number two spot on the Billboard 200 and landed the group multiple awards — it later went double platinum in the U.S., largely on the smash success of “Radioactive,” which became the biggest-ever digital rock track in America. During 2013, two other hits followed: “Demons” in the U.S. and “On Top of the World” elsewhere. The group spent the bulk of 2014 finishing its second album. Co-produced by Alex da Kid, Smoke + Mirrors, the band’s sophomore long-player, was released in February 2015 and debuted at number one, preceded by the singles “I Bet My Life” and “Shots.” The band toured often between June of 2015 and February of 2016, eventually releasing the concert set Smoke + Mirrors Live, recorded in 2015 at a sold-out Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The group took a well-deserved hiatus in 2016, making only a few sporadic forays into the studio to record three songs for soundtracks: “Not Today” for Me Before You, “Sucker for Pain” for Suicide Squad, and “Levitate” for Passengers. Imagine Dragons also recorded songs for their third proper album, releasing the lead single “Believer” in January 2017. The album, entitled Evolve, was released that June; as the name suggests, it saw the band continuing to evolve, emphasizing EDM-flavored pop and positive vibes. In January 2018, the band teamed with up with singer Khalid for a mashup of their hits “Thunder” and “Young Dumb & Broke.” ~ James Christopher Monger